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Public-images-osm logo.svg brand
Shell logo.jpg
the identity of a specific product, service, or business. Often trademarks
Group: Properties
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: in use

The brand=* tag is used to describe either the principle brand of goods or services that are sold in an outlet (notably petrol/gas stations amenity=fuel and new car salesrooms shop=car, or represents a common identify for individually owned and operated stores (usually convenience stores shop=convenience, but the Intersport brand is common in Europe on shop=sports.

Typically this tag is used where the name of the brand is more recognisable (and therefore of more interest to data users) than the name of the outlet.

Distinguishing between Brand, Name, Operator, etc.

brand=* allows data users to identify where a well-known brand of goods are sold. It is normally used for outlets that are dedicated to a single brand of goods, or outlets which share a fascia identify. It is of most value where the name of the outlet is less well-known than the brand itself. Often the brand name will dominate signage making this the strongest visual element.

Typical examples include motor traders who sell a particular brand of vehicle, or petrol stations dedicated to a particular brand of fuel. In these cases name=* would be used for the name of the outlet, and brand=* for the brand of the goods.

Where a well-known brand is trading under their own name, then name=* is expected by most data users, and should be used by contributors. This situation is typical of large fast-food chains, where the outlet and the goods share the same name. Here there is usually little value in adding brand=* as well as name=*, but this is for the data contributor to decide.

Some well-known brands are distributed under sophisticated franchising arrangements, where the name of the company which operates the facility is different from the name of the outlet and the brand under which they are trading. Where contributors feel it is necessary to make this distinction, then different values can be supplied for name=*, brand=* and operator=*. Examples include many fast-food amenity=fast_food outlets in chains such as Dominos, KFC, McDonalds, and Subway.

Buying Group Brands

Buying Groups (or Symbol Groups) represent organisations which buy goods in bulk on the behalf of their members. They often provide a distinct identity both for shops and for some products. Historically, these were often co-operative enterprises, but more recently many are now owned by major wholesalers. Examples, mainly from the convenience store sector (and with a British bias): SPAR, Premier (owned by Booker), Londis, Happy Shopper.


Name, brand and operator may differ:

Example Hotel

  • tourism=hotel
  • brand=Sheepy Suites
  • name=Sheepy Suites at Longmeadow (the name as it appears on signs; official_name=* can be used if the name filed with government regulators, for example, is different)
    • In some cases, the name and the brand will be the same.
  • ref=844 (this would be Sheepy Suites location #844)
  • operator=Black Mutton Enterprises (the local franchisee that operates the individual hotel)

Name and brand may differ:

Example gas station

  • amenity=fuel
  • name=Tankstelle an der Eisenbahnbrücke (Name of the specific gas station)
  • brand=BP Brand of the gas station
  • operator=Max Müller operating company / individual


Note that operator=* is often used for the brand, but this is technically wrong unless the parent corporation operates the individual locations. For example, McDonald's fast food chain is a global franchise with many operators (franchisees), so McDonald's would be specified as the brand rather than the operator.

See also